The headline is a quote from Nicola Sturgeon, UK Health Secretary. She is saying that if you charge people to park, you are then in essence “taxing” them for being sick. I suppose then that it’s also true that if a person has a headache, then charging them for an aspirin is ‘taxing’ them for being sick. So it would follow that all ‘over the counter’ meds should be free because we don’t want to “tax” someone who has stubbed their toe, or has a hangover, or a hangnail.
The Brits have “free” health care. Well, what they really have is a government run insurance program that forces you to pay for the insurance and then use the doctors and hospitals that they tell you. The insurance is paid through your income taxes, some of the highest anywhere, and if you would prefer to buy private insurance, you are on your own. You have to pay for the governments insurance first, and then buy private insurance out of what’s left. But I digress.
Its little wonder that parking is now become a “right” and that it is up to the medical insurance system to pay for those who elect to drive to the hospital. Let’s see if I get this right. Everyone pays the same amount (as a percentage of income) for their health care. However, those who take a cab, the bus, or walk, pay for the parking for those who drive. How is that fair?
I’m sure that Nicola hasn’t considered the issues of “free” parking, not only some paying for others, but the fact that it isn’t “green,” the fact that it causes congestion, and the fact that what started all this charging for parking half a decade ago was the fact that there wasn’t any parking space at the hospitals, since locals were parking “free” in the hospital lots and garages and taking all the space needed for ambulances, doctors, and dare I say it, patients.
I guarantee that the hue and cry will be very loud the first time someone who needs emergency medical care can’t find a place to park.